Poland men's national ice hockey team

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Poland
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) The Eagles
Association Polish Ice Hockey Federation
Head coach Jacek Płachta
Assistants Torbjörn Johansson
Stefan Lunner
Captain Marcin Kolusz
Most games Henryk Gruth (292)
Top scorer Andrzej Zabawa (99)
Most points Leszek Laszkiewicz (150)
Team colors          
IIHF code POL
Ranking
Current IIHF 20 Increase2
Highest IIHF 19 (2003)
Lowest IIHF 25 (2014)
First international
 Austria 13–1 Poland 
(Davos, Switzerland; 11 January 1926)
Biggest win
 Poland 21–1 China 
(Eindhoven, Netherlands; 26 March 1993)
Biggest defeat
 Soviet Union 20–0 Poland 
(Moscow, Soviet Union; 11 April 1973)
IIHF World Championships
Appearances 56 (first in 1930)
Best result 4th (1931)
IIHF European Championships
Appearances 3 (first in 1926)
Best result Med 2.png (1929)
Olympics
Appearances 13 (first in 1928)
International record (W–L–T)
421–511–88

The Poland national men's ice hockey team is the national ice hockey team of Poland, and a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. They are ranked 20th in the world in the IIHF World Rankings, but prior to the 1980s they were ranked as high as 6th internationally. They are one of only 8 countries never to have played below the Division I (former B Pool) level. Currently the Polish national team plays at the Division IA level, the second tier of the World Championship.

Poland has competed in the Olympics thirteen times, most recently in 1992, with their best result being fourth place in 1932. They have been a regular participant of the World Championship, first appearing in 1930 and having appeared in all but one tournament since 1955. They frequently played in the top division, though have been in Division I since being relegated in 2002.

History[edit]

Poland at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, their first appearance at the Winter Olympics. They finished ninth.

Poland was a regular participant of the early Winter Olympics, first competing at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland, where they finished ninth out of eleven teams. They would appear at ever Winter Olympics until 1956, with their best finish being fourth in 1932.

Financed by state coal money from the 1950s to the 1970s the Polish hockey team was a regular at the top level upsetting the Swedes, Finns, and Czechoslovaks from time to time. They hosted the World Championship for the only time in 1976, with the matches taking place in Katowice. At this tournament Poland defeated the Soviet Union 6–4 in their opening match, the first time Poland ever won against the Soviets and what is regarded as one of the greatest upsets in international hockey history. While Poland finished seventh and was relegated for the following year, their victory against the USSR helped prevent them from winning gold for only the second time in 13 years.[1]

The national team in 2006.

In the Olympics earlier that year, Poland played 5 matches in the top division, but lost all of them. In the first game, the team managed four goals on the West Germany but it was not enough as they lost 7-4. Four days later, after being destroyed by the Soviet Union, the Poles took on Czechoslovakia who dominated the whole game throughout and won 7-1, but after the drug testing, the officials found that one of the Czech players tested positive for doping and they awarded Poland with a 1-0 victory, although they didn't receive any points in the standings. With only two games left and no points in the standings, Poland had no shot at a medal, but still played the last two games against the United States and Finland, and lost 7-2 and 7-1 respectively.

Poland managed to clean up a bit over four years and played well during the 1980 Olympics and finished seventh out of twelve teams. They managed to pull off a huge upset in their first game by beating Finland 5-4, who would eventually advance to the medal round. In their next game, they played Canada and hoped to complete an even bigger upset. The Canadians didn't let this happen and beat the Poles 5-1. In the third game, Poland took on the five time Gold Medalists, The Soviet Union. The players knew that this would be a challenge because they had played the Soviets many times before and had lost by usually very lopsided scores, such as 8-3, 9-3, 16-1, and 20-0. The Polish team, however, had also beaten the Soviets once in the 1976 World Championship and some of the players from that game were still on the team. The team tried to keep the Soviets down, but it was too much and the USSR stormed to an 8-1 win.

Poland at the 2017 World Championship Division IA tournament in Ukraine. They finished fourth.

With their toughest games out of the way, Poland would have one more chance to try to get to the Medal Round. They took on the Netherlands and went down early in the first period but managed to tie it about four minutes later. The Dutch team scored twice more in the period to lead 3-1. Polish hero Wieslaw Jobczyk (who scored a hat trick in the 1976 upset against USSR) scored to put Poland within one goal but the Netherlands stormed back to get two more goals before the third period to make it 5-2. The Polish ended up losing 5-3 and saw their hopes of the Medal round come to an end. They had one more game against Japan, who had not won any games in the tournament and only tied once. Poland burst out in the first period and scored 3 goals before twenty minutes had ended. They scored two more goals and Japan seemed out of it. The final score was 5-1 for Poland. The team's final record was 2-3-0 and received 4 points in the standings.

When Communist rule ended in 1989, the Polish national team began a slow decline in international play. They reached the Olympics in 1992, the most recent time they have played there, and finished eleventh out of twelve teams. During the 1990s the first two Polish-born and trained players were selected in the NHL Entry Draft: Mariusz Czerkawski was selected in the 1991 by the Boston Bruins, and Krzysztof Oliwa in 1993 by the New Jersey Devils; Oliwa won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2000, the first and only Pole to do so.

Poland last competed at the Elite level in 2002 World Championship, where they finished fourteenth and were relegated. Since then they have remained in Division I, but have not earned promotion back to the top level, though they have finished just outside of promotion several times.

Tournament record[edit]

Olympic Games[edit]

Olympic record[edit]

Games GP W OW T OL L GF GA Coach Captain Finish Rank
Switzerland 1928 St. Moritz 2 0 0 1 0 1 4 5  ?  ? First Round 9th
United States 1932 Lake Placid 6 0 0 0 0 6 3 34 Tadeusz Sachs  ? First Round 4th
Nazi Germany 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen 3 1 0 0 0 2 11 12 Aleksander Tupalski, Lucjan Kulej  ? First Round 9th
Switzerland 1948 St. Moritz 8 2 0 0 0 6 29 97 Zbigniew Kasprzak  ? Round-robin 6th (7th)
Norway 1952 Oslo 8 2 0 1 0 5 21 56 Mieczyslaw Kasprzycki  ? Round-robin 6th
Italy 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo 5 2 0 0 0 3 15 22 Mieczyslaw Palus, Wladyslaw Wiro-Kiro  ? Consolation Round 8th
United States 1960 Squaw Valley Did not participate
Austria 1964 Innsbruck 8 6 0 0 0 2 41 15 Gary Hughes  ? Consolation Round 9th
France 1968 Grenoble Did not participate
Japan 1972 Sapporo 6 1 0 0 0 5 13 39 Anatolij Jegorov, Mieczyslaw Chmura  ? Final Round 6th
Austria 1976 Innsbruck 6 2 0 0 0 4 16 41 Józef Kurek  ? Final Round 6th
United States 1980 Lake Placid 5 2 0 0 0 3 15 23 Czeslaw Borowicz  ? First Round 7th
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1984 Sarajevo 6 1 0 0 0 5 20 44 Emil Nikodemowicz  ? 7th place game 8th
Canada 1988 Calgary 6 1 0 1 0 4 12 15 Leszek Lejczyk, Jerzy Mruk  ? 9th place game 10th
France 1992 Albertville 9 2 0 0 0 5 25 47 Leszek Lejczyk, Jerzy Mruk  ? 11th Place Match 11th
Norway 1994 Lillehammer Did not qualify since

World Championship[edit]

European Championships[edit]

  • 1926 – 7th place
  • 1927 – 4th place
  • 1929 – Won silver medal

Team[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Roster for the 2018 Winter Olympics qualification tournament.[2]

Pos. No. Player Team
GK 1 Kamil Kosowski Poland GKS Tychy
GK 30 Przemysław Odrobny England Milton Keynes Lightning
GK 29 Rafał Radziszewski Poland Comarch Cracovia
D 17 Mateusz Bryk Poland GKS Tychy
D 12 Paweł Dronia Germany Fischtown Pinguins
D 6 Michał Kotlorz Poland GKS Tychy
D 2 Maciej Kruczek Poland Comarch Cracovia
D 9 Bartlomiej Pociecha Poland GKS Tychy
D 28 Mateusz Rompkowski Poland Comarch Cracovia
D 4 Patryk Wajda Poland Comarch Cracovia
F 3 Adam Bagiński Poland GKS Tychy
F 22 Mateusz Bepierszcz Poland GKS Tychy
F 8 Aron Chmielewski Czech Republic HC Oceláři Třinec
F 19 Krystian Dziubinski Poland Comarch Cracovia
F 27 Radosław Galant Poland GKS Tychy
F 14 Kacper Guzik Poland Comarch Cracovia
F 26 Marcin Kolusz (C) Poland GKS Tychy
F 25 Mikołaj Łopuski England Milton Keynes Lightning
F 16 Tomasz Malasiński United Kingdom Swindon Wildcats
F 18 Grzegorz Pasiut Poland Comarch Cracovia
F 11 Maciej Urbanowicz Poland Comarch Cracovia
F 15 Patryk Wronka Poland Podhale Nowy Targ
F 10 Krzysztof Zapała Poland Podhale Nowy Targ

Former players in NHL[edit]

Players who have played in the NHL and the Polish national team

Year Name Position Team
1993–2006 Mariusz Czerkawski RW Boston Bruins
Edmonton Oilers
New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens
Toronto Maple Leafs
1996–2006 Krzysztof Oliwa LW New Jersey Devils
Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Rangers
Boston Bruins
Calgary Flames

NHL Entry Draft[edit]

Players from Poland selected in the NHL Entry Draft

Year Name Overall Team
1991 Mariusz Czerkawski 106th overall United States Boston Bruins
1993 Krzysztof Oliwa 65th overall United States New Jersey Devils
1993 Patryk Pysz 102th overall United States Chicago Blackhawks
2003 Marcin Kolusz 157th overall United States Minnesota Wild

Notable players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ IIHF (2008). "Poland scores biggest shocker in World Championship history". IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-05-06. 
  2. ^ "Znamy kadrę reprezentacji Polski na turniej w Budapeszcie". Hokej.net. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  3. ^ IIHF (2016). "Poland Team Roster" (PDF). IIHF.com. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 

External links[edit]